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Old April 9 2013, 01:45 AM   #3
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Re: George Takei and Politics

Danger Ace wrote: View Post
A question:

Back in the early 70s or so George Takei ran for a seat on a water commission (or something like that). He eventually dropped out of that election and ended his political ambitions. At the time he claimed it was because his appearing as Sulu in the reruns of Trek caused problems with the equal-time rules of the day - that never rang as true to me as too many other Hollywood types ran for and won public offices.

Since George Takei came-out has he ever shed new light on this? Has ever stated that fear of being outed caused him to give up on his run for office?

Just curious as that would make more sense to me than the "equal time" thing.
Folks may recall that back in 1973, George Takei (“Lieutenant Sulu”) was running for City Councilman in Los Angeles’ 10th City Council district—the City Council district that had become vacant when the City Councilman who had held it previously, Mr. Tom Bradley, was elected Mayor of Los Angeles just a short time earlier; he obviously could no longer be a City Councilman while also being mayor, so Tom Bradley had to vacate the City Council seat. George Takei then ran for Bradley's (now vacant) seat.

In an odd election commission ruling, since the cartoon version of George Takei would be “appearing” in “Beyond the Farthest Star,” right in the middle of the campaign, television station KNBC in Los Angeles would have been obligated to grant “equal time” to all the other candidates running against Mr. Takei in the election. So to circumvent the problem, on September 8, 1973, while the rest of the country saw "Beyond the Farthest Star," KNBC simply aired the episode “Yesteryear” instead—an episode in which, conveniently, Mr. Takei didn't appear. KNBC aired “Yesteryear” again the following Saturday, too—September 15, 1973; Angelenos got the same Star Trek episode two weeks in a row. Fortunately, the City Council election was held on Tuesda,y September 18, 1973 and KNBC didn’t have to do any further episode reshuffling. (By the way: Mr. Takei lost the election to Mr. David Cunningham by 1,675 votes. Cunningham actually had been endorsed for the seat by his predecessor Mayor Tom Bradley--so Cunningham had a bit of an inside track.) It wasn’t until a couple of months later, on December 22, 1973 when “Beyond the Farthest Star” was shown as a re-run for the rest of the country that Angelenos finally got to see that episode.
Greg Schnitzer
Co-Executive Producer
Star Trek Phase II

Last edited by GSchnitzer; April 9 2013 at 02:14 AM.
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